I've been out of the saddle for a while but I'm back with the latest installment of Demon, a story with more surprises than I know about. I get the feeling that this one, like In The Arms Of An Angel, is going to take me on quite a journey. You're welcome to come along for the ride.
This is the prompt I chose, although my demon is much better looking than this
I open my eyes and gaze at an angel. Eyes more silver than blue hover inches from mine, and long white hair tickles my cheek, dyed pale gold in places by the blazing sun. I blink and a lightbulb flashes in my head. By the light of the bulb, I see something. I see a forest glade and a man; a beautiful man, bathed in sunlight, his golden hair ablaze. Bare to the waist, showing off an impressive torso, he carries two long knives and a quiver of arrows. I am frozen, breathless from his beauty and the lovely menace he presents.
Someone is speaking but I can’t make out the words. I don’t care about the words because the two images consume me, and fill me up. I have no doubt the man in front of me is the same one I’m seeing inside my head. Who is he?
“W–who are you?”
“I am Tian, your bonded.”
Tian smiles at me and I can’t help but mirror. I raise my hand to touch his face and he closes his eyes turning into my touch.
“Filthy demon. Get away from my brother.”
My angel disappears, and I sit up, my head spinning to find him curled on the ground with Jandra’s boot heel on his throat.
“Jandra, don’t. Don’t hurt him.”
“Don’t hurt him? He’s a demon, Castien. Soon his innards will feed the ravens, but not before I knot them around neck.”
“No. You can’t. You mustn’t.” Before I’m entirely aware what I’m doing, I’m on my feet and staring down my sister. Jandra draws back slightly, unused to my uncharacteristic forcefulness.
“What do you care?” she snarls.
“He is…. He is not…not a demon.” I don’t take my eyes off my sister, but I don’t need to see him. I can feel him; feel his spirit, uncrushed, undiminished.
“Don’t be fooled, tippa. He is pretty, but he is a demon. Make no mistake about that.”
“Perhaps, but he is more than that. To me, he is more.”
Jandra narrows her eyes at me. She has no idea what I’m talking about, and that isn’t surprising because neither have I.
“What has he done to you?”
I open my mouth to speak, to swear he has done nothing to me, but I stop. He has done something to me. I feel strange, different. I have always been weak and timid. The ill health that plagues me, leaves me constantly tired and eats away at my will. But not today. Not right now; right now I am strong; stronger than I have ever been and I have the crazy feeling that I could take on even Jandra, if I had to. I hope I don’t have to.
“I don’t know,” I say, thinking honesty is probably the best option. I don’t know what it’s done, but it’s good. I swear it. I’m completely well for the first time I remember. I’m strong and I can do anything; anything I have to, to keep him safe.”
“Keep him safe? Are you mad? The demon must die.” Jandra takes her heel from his throat and drive it into his side. I hear his ribs snap, and blood wells. The demon simply moans softly.
Anger flows through me like a molten tide. She dares to hurt him? My bonded; my precious one. A red mist falls, and before I know it Jandra is on the ground with my hands around her throat.
Although her hands claw at me, and she frantically tries to throw me from her body, I am solid.
“Castien, are you mad? What are you doing?”
“Swear to me you will not harm him, nor let anyone else do so, or I will choke the life out of you, sister or not.”
“Dear God, what has he done to you? You are insane. In what world do you think I would swear the life of a demon? Do you not know what he is? He would tear out your throat given the chance. We cannot give him that chance. We cannot take a demon within out walls.”
“One way or another, I will––either with you at my side or growing cold where you lie.”
“Castien, I beg you. You’ve lost your mind.”
I laugh, and the sound is so wild and free I wonder for a moment if she’s right. “No; I’ve found it. For the first time in my life, I know who I am, and I like it. Will you swear?”
“Oh, alright. Alright. I swear. I swear I will not hurt him and, as far as it is in my power to prevent it, I will not let any other do so. But he has to leave. He has to be taken far away from here.”
“No. I will present him to Father, and demand recognition.”
Jandra is so shocked, for a moment she can’t speak. “Recognition? For what?”
“That he is mine.”
“Yours? What…? Oh no. No. No way.”
I get lightly to my feet and offer Jandra my hand. She ignores me and rolls away. I don’t see her get up because my attention has already moved from her. My demon is in distress. Although he is silent, I ‘hear’ his cries, somewhere deep inside.
“Tian? Are you…? Are you alright?” Of course he isn’t alright. He’s bleeding from a puncture wound between broken ribs. He must be in agony, and he may be dying. He saved me, and I’m powerless to save him. “What can I do? What can I do for you?”
And then it comes to me. Just as anger had turned my blood to red fire, this new sensation that flows through me, turn it to gold. Jandra is speaking but I don’t know what she says. Acting on instinct alone I reach out my hands and lay them over the wound, pouring the gold into the quivering body of my demon.
And now, lets hurry over to check out the rest of the talented writers who are flashing this week